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Chawlston, just curious which customs arent built from the ground up,which customs are sleeved and which use a rem bolt in thier action?
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When you are shopping for an action just ask those questions. Some manufacturers/makers may be evolving their processes away from this, but there are a few out there that are so dimensionally equivalent to the remington that they are using remington bolt shrouds.
I am not going to crucify any action maker. I will just point out some generalities that must be considered. I for one think most would be extremely satisfied with a truly customized remington.
For instance, if you want to hang a larger barrel off of your action, why would someone go to the expense of getting one that is the same dimensionally as a Rem 700. It is my inclination to get more than a quality product improvement when I spend the funds for custom actions. I would never buy one that is the same or very close to the same diameter as a factory production action. When you hang larger barrels off the action, you will get to a point that the bedding is flexing and causing problems due to action diameter available for a bedding surface. Some combat this by using a barrel block and this is an extremely viable alternative.
Some action manufacturers start out on fire and then sell the company and you will find that the product may look the same, but it will not be the same. Most of the time it will not be as well made. There is one in particular right now that is in that situation.
Fnally, for my money,based on all my exposure to actions and information on them, If I could not get a Hall, I would choose the BAT. If I could not get one of those, I would either wait or go with a trued up remington. The reason for this is that most of the others are so close in dimensions to a factory remington that they really offer no added benefit other than initial quality and that can be equalled by customizing the remington. To me, a trued up remington and a remington clone that is basically the same external dimension as the remington is a toss up and I would select the remington due to pricing and availability of components.
Alot of custom action makers are using the Rem 700 foot print beacuse their are so many after market parts for them like triggers , scope bases , stocks and yes the bolt shroud and firing pin assembly , are they using the unit from the Rem factory , hell no , most likly they are using units from Greg Tannel , which by the way most gun bulders that rebuild remingtons use , for under $100 is a fine piece of work.
Rem footprint clones might have the same external dimensions on some models but is where all similarity ends. They are massively different inside and much closer tolerances and with different metals. the Lawton 7500 is slightly larger diameter, longer tenon and still uses Rem bottom metal, triggers etc.
As for hanging the barrels on a Rem, most of the clones correct one major issue with the Rems and that is a longer tenon to screw the barrel in and much cleaner and more accurate threads. the longer tenon cannot even be fixed with the "accurized rem".
I shot and won a lot of matches with an accurized rem and it can be made to shoot accurately. However, it will never ever be as smooth, fast and most importantly, as economical in the long run as a custom action. There is zero debate on those three criteria.
I'm biased, I will tell you that now. As the former rifle department production manager for Nesika Bay Precison, it's going to be obvious what my suggestion is.
Before we get to that though, there are some fundamental topics that should be addressed.
I'm at the risk of starting a small war by saying this, but it has been demonstrated to me too often to ignore.
The barrel is where accuracy starts and ends. You can take the greatest brand X action in the world, you stick a crap barrel on it and it will shoot like crap.
you take a pawn shop Remington with 30 years on it and fit up a premium barrel the right way and it will deliver good performance. Notice I didn't say "great" performance.
You are entering a world where leaps and bounds whittle down to small incremental improvements.
Here is my example. I once worked in drag racing as an automotive machinist. The engines we built were good. They were great. The owners set some national records with them in Comp Eliminator. Our engines were great because no stone was left unturned at the time.
The edge we enjoyed was marginal. A few percent on the dyno. They were also quite expensive because of all the extra attention to detail.
The same holds true for a REAL custom built gun. A timex and Rolex will both tell you what time it is. See the point?
So, here's the underlying question becomes, at what level are you willing to play at?
Nesika, BAT, Stolle, RPW, etc. . . All good stuff.
I choose a Nesika over them all for a few reasons that can be appreciated by even the most passive enthusiast.
One is the fire control system. A Remington type action is partial cock on closing. The lugs of the bolt are climbing the helical ramps on the action while the cocking piece has purchased the sear of the trigger.
Has worked great for a number of years and no one really complains...
...until they shoot a Nesika. They are different.
A Nesika is timed differently. The fire control is designed so that the lugs of the bolt have rotated past the ramps of the action prior to the cocking piece bearing on the trigger sear. What does this accomplish.
It makes for the smoothest, sexiest feeling there is when closing the bolt.
Does not do a damn thing for accuracy.
Timex VS Rolex. That is what we are talking about here.
No, the firing pin does not suffer from a loss of travel or "fall" as it commonly called. The cam on the back of the bolt is set up to achieve about .255" of striker travel.
You'll still get nice firm whacks on the primer.
Next. The bolt. To my knowledge Nesika is the only custom action manufacturer that machines the bolts from one solid piece of material. The handles are not sweated, welded, or glued or screwed onto the bolt body.
You have Nesika's permission to get out the dead blow and whack away when you get a little too zealous with the powder charges. it's happened to all of us at one time or another. If you use a rubber dead blow hammer and break the handle off of a Nesika, you call or email me and I will personally buy you the action of your choice. That's a promise.
Materials. 15-5 PH stainless steel. Good stuff, great corrosion resistance and a pretty high hardness number on the scale. The recievers are hardened to about 43-44 Rockwell C.
Bolts. 4140 Chromoly. No, it's not a good idea to use a stainless bolt on a stainless action. You effectively rub two pieces of bubble gum together when you do this. Prone to galling.
Next, machine work. . .
Kitumura is the manufacturer of the 4 axis mills used for Nesika. A very robust machine with CAT50 spindle tapers. the machines each weigh right around 25,000 pounds.
This is good because it makes for high quality surface finishes and that means less hand work and that means less "fitting" or loosening things up so that they work right.
All actions have to have clearance built into them to function. Nesika is no different, but we have found a way to cheat a little.
The Borden (patent pending) bump system. Borden bumps are really little cams machined on axis with the bolts lug surfaces. right behind them on the body actually. They are also right in front of the handle. As one of your responders said, if there are shims glued in place, avoid it. I'd have to agree. Nesika's "shims" (borrowing his term) are built into the bolt body itself.
A simple purpose. All the effort to lap in a pair of lugs is generally wasted the moment you put the fire control back in. The cocking piece climbs the sear and the ass end of the bolt is elevated. Only your bottom lug on the bolt is contacting the action now.
Borden bumps overcome this by camming into the receiver's bore on closing only. When open they track in the raceways and still allow for rapid and smooth bolt manipulation.
No one else to my knowledge has this.
Remember, Timex VS Rolex. Small things. . .
I hate timing up a Remington's recoil lug. Especially in a properly bedded rifle. is it in the same spot? Is it really? If we want to split hairs, probably not. Now we have to worry about recoil lugs shaving bedding in the stock cause they are off axis every time we take it apart.
Nesika lugs are keyed to the action by two .094" OD pins.
the bore that the pins fit into are reamed so that they just slip into place. It repeats.
Because someone is sure to bring it up. YES, you CAN shear those itty bitty pins when you pull a barrel up tight.
If the threads on the barrel are fitted properly to the action and if you use a little copper based thread lubricant (especially on stainless barrels) you only need about 80ft lbs to hold it in place. this is not my number. This comes from a guy with an education I can't even come close to describing who does nothing but design fasteners all day for Boeing. It is also backed up by another engineering marvel friend of mine who makes unlimited hydroplane propellers. These two guys are pretty much the smartest people on the planet in my opinion.
I trust them.
For the record, don't become a victim of the guy who says you have to use 60 inch pounds of torque on a guard screw.
if it is a 1/4-28 screw. you use no more than 40 inch pounds. I have a paper at home written by the "screw guy" and it proves everything to the letter. he spent three months developing the instrumentation and test samples to prove it for me.
I don't care if the screw is made from kryptonite. math does not lie in this case.
Yes, I know a bumble bee isn't supposed to fly.
Just trust me on this. Your non pillar bedded stock will love you for it.
So, as a gun builder the benefit to a keyed lug is that I can have no fear when I have bedding to clean up from nooks and cranny's. I can take the thing apart and have the confidence that it will go back together and fit the stock properly.
Action threads. All modern production Nesika actions are 1.0625-18TPI. Talk to a aerospace engineer and he will say this is a good thing for a barrel tennon. I don't have the education to sit and explain why. I just trust that all that college they have means something.
Lug raceways and bores on the action.
Deep hole gun drilled and then finished by a line hone designed specifically for critical tolerance inside holes.
The race ways are cut on a wire EDM. These things are a half million bucks and hold tolerances to 6 or 7 decimal places. They also create very little stress on the part when using them.
Does it make the gun more accurate? My old boss would argue yes because over time as the material naturally stress relieves and increases in hardness (a natural by product of Precipitation Hardening stainless steel) The fact that we don't (in my case "didn't") run a broach down the bore and chew out the material suggests that less stress was introduced during manufacturing.
I'm sure an engineer could prove it on paper to a captive audience. I argue if it really makes a difference because there are plenty of very old broached actions out there that shoot exceptionally well.
Again, Timex VS Rolex.
Finally, the outside of the thing.
All Nesika round actions are cylinderically ground off of the honed inside diameter. Taper is held to a tolerance of .002 across the length of the blank.
If you saw how the actions were made, you would understand why it must be this way. We could not make them if this was not so. In the interest of respecting proprietary information, I'll leave it at that.
So, what does this mean for you? Bedding surfaces free of surface inclusions if you have a smith who's good at bedding a gun.
The round actions come in two mainstream diameters. 1.350 and 1.470 The bigger of the two are kind of meant for bigger guns with long barrels. The extra surface area help keep things settled down when shooting.
I have bombarded you with a bit of material.
I work in Iraq now as an armorer for the US Embassy. I have a bit of free time in the evening. You've just become the victim of that.
Now the final and usually most important aspect.
Price. A Nesika is typically right in the neighborhood of most custom actions. I will admit that I have never done the research to see where we sat on the financials.
One of your responders made the comparison of equating quality to length of time on deliver. I must disagree.
Nesika's policy is no more than 60 days. If you order it right, it'll only take a month.
They (by "they" I mean the sales department, contrary to some goofy rumors out there in shooter land, ALL NESIKA ACTIONS ARE MADE IN HOUSE at the ONLY plant located in Sturgis SD.) submit the build the last week of the month to the machine shop. So, you have the whole month of January to ponder what you want. Call it in before the month is up and you should have it the first week of March.
Always been that way. There have been exceptions. things have gotten screwed up now and then, but fundamentally, that is the process.
In the interest of being honest, there are some bad things about the actions too.
One is that they can gall on you. You don't take a race car through the mud and not wash it off afterwards. You shouldn't with a Nesika either. If it gets grubby, clean it. The lugs are prone to getting chewed up a bit if you don't. One of the negatives of SS. it's prone to this and there's not much you can do about it.
The extractors have a tendency to be a little fussy sometimes. You can ask to have a SAKO style installed. I encourage this.
Mechanical eject. yes, you can have your Nesika built this way. I encourage you not to. Lots of Remington's shoot great with a plunger pushing on the back of the case. If the barrel is chambered properly, I really question if anyone has every conclusively shown it to deter from accuracy.
Remember, magazine writers have to write about something so that they keep thier jobs.
Case in point. The small block chevy was produced in what? 1958? How many more articles do we really need on how to hot rod one, yet we car nuts stand in line for the newest edition in hopes of a hidden secret that no one knows about.
I hope this helped a little and didn't piss too many people off.
Keep em centered.
Bagdad Embassy Security Force
NESIKA BAY PRECISION
Richard Spruill, sales
1310 Industry Road
Sturgis SD 57785
605 347 3220
Jim Borden did not design Nesika Bay actions. He designed the Patented "Borden Bumps" on the bolt.
The Stiller Predator is as fine an action, for the money that I have had in my hands. Fits a Rem footprint stock. Comes complete with Sako type extr., and pinned recoil lug.
I haven't held a Lawton in my hands, so I can't comment on them.